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Up Where We Belong: Short Short Fiction

Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

Meet Navin


Navin was a drone. That is not to say that he was a continuous low hum or a remote controlled airplane—although he could fly—but that he was a stingerless male honeybee who had but one purpose in life, which raises the issue of Navin's main problem at the moment.

Look at all the bees. Everybody's going here and going there, making stuff and, well, they’re busy. I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s been hours since I broke out of my egg, and I still don’t know who I am, where I fit in or what the purpose of my existence is. He continued to fly around the hive and hoped to find someone who could explain where his place was in this flurry of activity. He spied several young female bees who were engrossed in some project.

Up Where We Belong: Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

I think I’ll just fly over there and say hello. He approached the busy bees with a friendly smile.

“Hi. What are you doing?” said Navin.

“We’re making honey. What does it look like, drone?” said one of the worker bees.

“Oh, sorry, I should have introduced myself. The name is Navin….not, um, Drone.”

The females formed a circle around him. “What’s your problem….Navin?” she said.

“Well, you see,” he said, “I have no idea who I am, where I fit in or what the point is to my existence. Do you know?”

The same female spoke again. “Look, drone, get out of the hive, fly around between forty and two hundred feet off the ground and watch for a queen. If you see one, just do whatever comes natural.”

“Navin. The name’s Navin.”



Navin went. He hated the feeling of having no more to do than fly around looking for a queen. He wasn’t even sure if he’d know one if he saw her. Maybe she’d be wearing a tiara. Navin saw a group of other young male bees. Could they answer his questions? When they saw him, they made a beeline right at him, going so fast, he thought they were attacking.

“Hello, Hello, excuse us sir,” said one. “We have some questions we were hoping you could help us with.”

“Questions? Well, I, uh….” Navin, of course, had only questions of his own, or so he thought.

“Great, thanks,” said the one. “So who are we? Where do we fit in? What is the point of our existence?”

Navin was shocked. These fellows didn’t know either. He repeated the only thing he had learned since he had crawled out of the tiny hole in the wax. “Get out of the hive, fly around between forty and two hundred feet off the ground and watch for a queen. If you see one, just do whatever comes natural.”

The other males were ecstatic. “Thank you so much, you’ll never know what this means to us.” The males were so excited, they began dancing.

Female bees swarmed around the males. “Where are they?” said one.

“Where are what?” said one of the drones.

“The flowers you were giving directions to,” she said

“There seems to be a misunderstanding. We weren’t showing the directions to flowers, we were dancing because we finally found out why we’re alive.” said the drone.

“You guys better split up and do what you’re supposed to be doing,” said the worker.

“We were just leaving to go fly around between forty and two hundred feet off the ground and watch for a queen. If we see one, we’ll just do whatever comes natural.”

“Perfect,” said the worker. “I’m sure the queen will be honored.”


Navin was cruising at the appropriate altitude when he spied flowers. Look at the nice flowers on that tree. And they smell so good. He flew strait to one and sniffed while he hovered.

“What do you think you’re doing.” Another worker bee flew around the flower Navin was sniffing. He backed out and turned to face the female. “Look at you,” she said. “You’re covered with pollen. Have you been hanging out around the fermented honey cells?”

Navin didn’t want to stick around for the rest of the conversation, so he flew off on his own again.


Day after day, week after week, he flew and tried not to get in anyone’s way. One day he saw her. He knew immediately she was a queen because she was so big, and she wore a tiara. Wow! Look at that stinger! He approached her cautiously.

The queen grabbed Navin and flew high into the sky where they stayed for quite some time.

Later, Navin drifted along with the summer breeze under his wings and a smile on his face. Finally, I understand. And he dropped to the ground, dead.

Steve Martin in the Jerk-Movie Clip-Navin's Special Purpose

© 2016 Chris Mills

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